By Luke Kenton
This experienced skier d-ICE-s with death but somehow managed to escape a ferocious avalanche unscathed, that at first appeared to give him SNOW-way out.
Sitting atop a white-encrusted mountain in Popova Sapka, Macedonia, this idyllic winter-wonderland setting soon turns to a frightening nightmare for experienced skier of 22-years, Vladimir Jovanovski.
With a slurry of snow breaking before Vladimir and crashing down the mountain-side, the 25-year-old is left in a panic, as he quickly realises he finds himself in the center of a potential avalanche, on December 9.
Feeling the unstable powder that he’s leaning back on move, Vladimir makes the split-second decision to ‘get the hell out of there’, but as he does, the snow shifts behind him and consumes the thrill-seeker in its merciless mist.
Terrified and slipping beneath the landslide’s surface, in an attempt to prevent himself being totally submerged by the snow, Vladamir desperately flails his arms and legs around as he falls down the mountain in a bid to stay afloat.
Incredibly, with nothing more than a sore leg muscle, Vladamir managed to keep his head above the slide and emerged at the bottom with his life and limbs still intact.
Admitting that he walked away from the ordeal ‘trembling from head to toe’, Vladamir said: “Because it was only the second snow of the season, an avalanche was the last thing on my mind.
“I had made one turn [before the video started] and as I made a second the snow started to give way.
“I knew in that moment that eventually all the snow around me would start to slide and I needed to get the hell out of there.
“I had to move, I was just hoping it wouldn’t start immediately, but as soon as I stood up I just heard this terrible cracking sound, which sounded like a bone breaking.
“Another layer of snow then gave way beneath me, and instantly the speed of the avalanche picked up, submerging my head for a few moments.
“My heart was racing and my breathing was so fast – the only thing on my mind was not to get buried, and my only fear was suffocating.
“I was flapping my arms as much as I could – because eventually I couldn’t move my legs anymore.
“I was scared but I knew I had to focus on one thing – getting to the bottom safely.
“Thankfully when I got to the bottom my head and hands were above the surface and I was able to dig my way out.
“When I got up I was trembling and shaking, but didn’t feel any pain other than a sore leg the next morning.
“I now realise how lucky I am, and thought that if I hadn’t trained properly for such an occurrence or if there was no one around to help, how badly that could’ve ended up.”